@2015 Myrtle Grove Baptist Church - 5920 Lillian Hwy - Pensacola, Fl 32506  - 850-455-7389
Back to Individuals Back to Individuals
Alton Butler
Dr Alton Butler 1926-2016
Having lived a long and fruitful life, Alton Butler, 90, went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 9, 2016. The oldest son in a family of 10 children, Alton was born on June 4, 1926 in Wynn, Ark. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Raymond and Dora Butler; sisters, Pauline Hardin, Bess Browning, Viola Bruce, Mary Baker; and brothers Bobby Butler, Garland Butler.   Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Audrey Nelle Butler; sons Jerry Butler, Pensacola; Mike Butler (and wife Mari), Archdale, NC; daughter Melinda Butler Mayo (and husband Wally), Roanoke, Va.; grandchildren, Jason Whitehead, Ryan Butler, Alan Butler, Leah Butler, and Alyssa Butler; great grandchildren Bianca Butler and Giana Butler; brothers, Charles Butler, Harrison, Ark; James Butler, Little Rock, Ark; sister, Martha Jean Beal, Conway, Ark.; and many nieces and nephews.   Alton served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and, after the service, started classes at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. When his father died suddenly in 1946, he was summoned home to support his mother and siblings. It was at that time he met Nelle Ross and married her on Dec. 20, 1947. After returning to Ouachita to finish his degree, he felt the call to ministry.   His education included a B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University (1950); a Master of Divinity (1954) and a Doctor of Ministry (1976) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and a Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (1959). Alton was ordained on Dec. 28, 1949, at First Baptist Church, Kennett, Mo. Before coming to Pensacola, he served as the pastor of churches in Frankfort, Ky., Dexter, Mo., and Bentonville, Ark.   A long-time resident of Pensacola, Fla., he devoted his life to service – both to God and to the people in his community. He was pastor of Myrtle Grove Baptist Church from 1963 until 1993. During that time, he was active in Baptist work as President of the Florida Baptist Convention (1984); on the Board of Trustees for Stetson University in Deland, Fla. (chair 1988-89); and on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. (1984 to 1986).   As a civic leader, he was involved in organizations such as the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce, Humana Food Bank, Children’s Services Interagency Association (Guardian Ad Litem program), Baptist Hospital Board of Directors (1983-1990), the Epilepsy Foundation, Northwest Florida Blood Center, and the One-Half Cent Sales Tax Watchdog Committee for Escambia County Public Schools.   Under his leadership as pastor, Myrtle Grove Baptist Church started two satellite churches in Pensacola which eventually became Perdido Bay Baptist Church and Heritage Baptist Church. Alton also traveled to three countries—Africa, Korea, and Brazil—as part of mission teams that preached the gospel in remote villages and communities.   He was a devoted student of the Bible and continued to serve God through his 70’s by working as interim pastor in many of Pensacola’s Baptist churches. He also agreed to perform funerals and weddings for families of those who had been friends and church members during his tenure at Myrtle Grove. As a result, he is remembered as a pastor not only to Myrtle Grove Baptist Church, but to the entire community. Alton and his wife, Nelle, moved to Roanoke, Va. in 2015 to live near their daughter.   Those who were close to him knew he was an avid golfer and tennis player who loved all sports. He also loved all types of music, but especially hymns, gospel, and classic country music and favored the songs of artists like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. Most importantly, Alton was a gifted speaker who delivered the piercing message of the gospel with a quick wit, and—always— a funny story to tell (usually on himself). His influence and love for the Lord touched the lives of countless people and he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.   Interment was performed at Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, Va. A celebration of his life will be held at Myrtle Grove Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla. on July 30, 2016 at 2 PM.